Kolkata: Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta feels India Test team vice-captain, Ajinkya Rahane, is not the same player he used to be five-six years ago, when he batted tons of runs at No. 3 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Rahane didn’t make much of an impact in the final of the World Test Championship against New Zealand, where his 49 and 15 were not enough to save India from an eight-wicket loss in the recent past.
With a five-Test series against hosts England in August-September, there is a debate on whether Ajinkya Rahane will be replaced with middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari.
Dasgupta on his YouTube channel on Saturday said, “I don’t think Rahane is the same player that he was. In 2015-16, Rahane was unbelievable. He was a player that I saw playing for Mumbai. The Wankhede pitch on the first morning was moist, the pitch had grass and it was a nightmare batting there those days. But Rahane scored more than 4000-4500 runs before playing for India, batting predominantly at No.3 position.”
He said, “He was a little experimental in the first 20 balls. When he played big innings, he looked very confident. Looking at the slow batting, there are speculations that Cheteshwar Pujara may be dropped during the upcoming Test series.” Dasgupta realized that it was the reverse swing that was bothering Rahane of late.
“When you bat in India, your skill set changes. You play swing and pace outside but here (England) you need to play reverse swing. If you go and check Rahane’s footwork in 2015-16, you will realise that (now) his footwork is not that definite. He is very tentative in his first 20 balls and whenever he plays a big innings, he is a lot more confident.”